The Hopkins Troll is a media personality enabled by our admiration, revulsion and curiosity to build a career on outrageous and offensive statements.
“People are outraged over Katie Hopkins vile #Palestinian comments stop being outraged, that’s what keeps her in media. Unfollow & ignore her,” wrote the journalist Sonia Poulton. Sensible advice but it misses a crucial point.
Ignoring her out of a sense of outrage overlooks those who agree with her sentiments. Others admire what the Hopkins Troll represents – an unfiltered voice who is granted a large media platform in the age of ‘PC gone mad’.
A snapshot of support is often found in Daily Mail reader comments or on Twitter (not the most reliable source but the Hopkins Troll operates in murky waters).
“Personally I can’t stand the woman but she has every right to express her opinions. I think that the vast majority of the ordinary British public (that excludes Guardians readers !!) would agree with her.”
“No comment, else I’ll also be arrested.”
Hopkins tweeted during an episode of Channel 4’s 24 Hours in Police Custody:
“Father beats his daughter with an iron bar. But he is a good Muslim, prays in his cell & attends the mosque. So that’s all happy days then.”
“The police are singing from the same hymn sheet. Mohammed is going DAAAAAAAN. Allahu Akbar”.
The episode handled a complex case of ‘honour’ violence. But there is no honour in a father assaulting his daughter with an iron. In the episode, PC Esther Morris said: “It’s not a religious matter. No religion endorses honour violence.” Yet, that statement is missing from Hopkins’ Twitter feed. Hopkin’s inflammatory tone did find some support.
A representative of Luton Central Mosque spoke of the accused’s good character to the community cohesion team. But in the end, the suspect was convicted of ABH and sentenced to three years in prison (a sentence he is appealing). For the daughter, she fled Luton with her husband, disowned by her family.
24 Hours in Police Custody ensures the accused and victims of crime remain anonymous. Yet, by virtue of being a Muslim of Pakistani descent, Hopkins calls the convicted man Mohammed (without evidence).
During a stream of online criticism, Hopkins tweeted: “Allah doesn’t guide me. He is not a dog and I am not blind. I see that all religion is evil.” A statement that seems a little disingenuous in the context of previous statements.
On a similar note, she tweeted: “Nurun has left the building. Thank crap for that. The token headscarf wearer is no more,” after Nurun Ahmed was fired from The Apprentice on October 22 2014.
Rather than judging a person for the content of their character, the Hopkins Troll reduces the latter to what makes them different: religious identity. The same tactic is used when ridiculing a person’s weight.